I think the time to push as hard as you can just started

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#1 Sat, 07/06/2019 - 07:41
Diabolico's picture

I think the time to push as hard as you can just started

I already made a small post under "issues/feature request" but i was thinking this is better place and (maybe) open a discussion.

The situation with cPanel is really heating up (9 days and near 1500 replies and still growing) and now even WHMCS is pulled in the story as same company owns both software (including Plesk). Cloudlinux already announced that they will try to make their software as easy as possible to be integrated with other control panels. The entire drama can be read on WHT but even on other places like cPanel forum. Their (cPanel) second announcement didnt change anything and just cemented the first one with prices skyrocketing.

There are few software what Virtualmin doesnt work and now is time to decide and push the changes as fast as you can - modify Virtualmin to work with them or make your own version of that software (cloudlinux, imunify360, clientexec, blesta...). Plus what is more important to simplify the UI at least for "clients" while for main admin/resellers leave it as it is.

There is probably a tons of other things i could write right now but lets see the reaction of you guys (devs) and people using Virtualmin.

What i'm sure is the chance what opened now is probably one in a lifetime so now you must decide what will be your next step.

NINJA EDIT: Maybe you should activate your WHT account and let people see you and hear your plans... That would be nice beginning.

Mon, 07/29/2019 - 10:11
RJM Web Design
RJM Web Design's picture

I am one of the folks looking to migrate away from cPanel, not so much because of the price increase as because I've lost trust in them as a company.

Unlike many others, I never thought that cPanel was all that great to begin with. Its main advantage was its ubiquity: If I had to change hosting companies / datacenters in a hurry (which has happened several times in my career, usually as a result of formerly-good companies being taken over by equity firms and going downhill), cPanel made it much easier to do. Getting a new server set up and running with cPanel took maybe half an hour (if that long), after which I'd just have to migrate the backups.

This happened most recently when HFW was taken over by Cloud Equity Group and spectacularly botched the subsequent migration about a year and a half ago. I'd seen it all before, and I bailed as soon as I could. Because I had fresh backups stashed on both Amazon S3 and Backblaze (my servers at HFW being inaccessible most of the time), getting up and running with a new company at a new DC was a breeze. Because I reused the nameservers and hostnames, the clients didn't need to be involved. Some of them didn't even notice they'd been moved.

So I guess you could say that I stayed with cPanel for all these years because of ubiquity and inertia. Having been through a number of provider meltdowns, I was always planning for the next one; and cPanel made it that much easier to plan because, I believed, they would always be there.

That's no longer true. I no longer trust cPanel as a company, so I can no longer trust their product as part of my disaster plan. So I started looking for alternatives. I can say with near certainty that Virtualmin is what I'll be using for my own sites and servers that I manage on behalf of clients. But some shared hosting clients have not been happy with the test domain I set up. The issue is simply that "it's too different." Everything they need (and then some) is in there, but the layout of the GUI is not what they're used to. (I should also mention that there have been other clients who couldn't care less. As long as they have Awstats and their mail, they're happy.)

The importance of similarity of the GUI also seems to be the consensus over at WHT. The majority of people in both of the threads resulting from the cPanel fiasco are moving to DirectAdmin; and my sense is that the main reason is because it "feels like" cPanel.

To someone like me, who routinely did most things in a shell until now, that seems pretty ridiculous. Who cares how things are laid out as long as they're there? I personally prefer the left drop-down design of Virtualmin / Webmin anyway; but I am more concerned about the functionality. Whether the GUI is drop-down, fly-out, iconified, or tiled matters far less to me than how well it works.

I seem to be in the minority, however. I've been posting frank, but honest (and mainly positive) updates about my own testing on Virtualmin on WHT, as have two or three other people; but the majority seem to be moving to DA -- and the biggest reason, as far as I can discern, is because the GUI feels more like cPanel.

Meh. Whatever works for people, as far as I'm concerned. I really think that Virtualmin is not getting the respect it deserves at WHT. But I have no horse in the race as far as what other people use. I've made my decision, and my main focus now is learning enough about Virtualmin to support my clients. I've bought two books, have read one and am a third of the way through the other, and have read many more posts here than I've commented on. I'm using the only skill I learned in college that's been consistently useful, and that's how to learn stuff in a hurry.

I also agree that it behooves vendors to develop plugins for all the panels now that cPanel is approaching pariah status. At the moment, the only difference between a "stock" CentOS 7 system that I'm using is KernelCare, which doesn't require any configuration to speak of; and CSF Firewall, which does have a plug-in. But CloudLinux and the other software you mentioned would also be definite contenders if I knew they were fully compatible with Virtualmin and didn't take more time to configure and maintain than they were worth.


Tue, 07/30/2019 - 09:49

I don't think Virtualmin should have templates, look and feel, workflows and options as Cpanel has.

I do think it should have a good UI and User experience, but therefore you have to respect the way as it is and long long was to, while User experience has also the part of existing Users wo are used to have it the way it is now!

So getting more Customers Cpanel with a kind of makeoff / copycat nono. ;)

Making things better / future and fool proof, up to date docs yup!

Tue, 07/30/2019 - 10:20 (Reply to #3)
RJM Web Design
RJM Web Design's picture

In all honesty, I prefer the Virtualmin layout the way it is. If a user has a bit of knowledge about where some function logically should be, it's a breeze. The hardest thing is learning which functions belong to Webmin versus Virtualmin. But that's a pretty shallow learning curve.

The problem is clients. They range from ... let's be kind and just say "inexperienced," to experts. The experts won't give a rat's hindquarters. But the "inexperienced" users complain about icon color changes.

So I think it would be nice to offer both the current layout, and something more iconified, and make it user-selectable with root setting the default theme.

This is just about marketing. I think the UI is fine just how it is. But clients pay the bills, so we have to think about their preferences, as well.


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